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Tencent has entered the metaverse competition with its ‘extended reality’ branch.

Tencent of China is the newest digital behemoth to establish a presence in the metaverse.

According to Reuters, Chinese internet giant Tencent has formed its very own extended reality’ branch that will develop gear and applications for the metaverse. This is the latest attempt by a technology giant trying to make inroads into the metaverse. Others like Meta, Apple, and Microsoft, have already joined TikTok parent company ByteDance in making moves in the extended reality spaces. There are efforts to turn XR offerings into future interfaces for consumers.

This development from Tencent has accompanied recent announcements from Meta, Unity, and Microsoft about a conference for metaverse standards to increase compatibility.

According to Reuters, Tencent’s extended reality branch was established last year but has remained mostly a secret to the world. Despite the company’s continued efforts to reduce expenses, they expect the operation to ultimately employ 300 workers.

Based on the Reuters reports, Tencent’s extended reality branch is developing a headset, which will be its very first venture in software and hardware development. According to one report, the division is an extension of Pony Ma’s vision for a new direction Tencent will take. Ma is emphasising the role of the metaverse as crucial in the future of the Internet. Li Shen, chief technical officer of Tencent’s games department, will oversee the new division, which will be part of the firm’s Interactive Entertainment group.

Tencent hinted at its aspirations for the metaverse towards the end of last year. Martin Lau, the company’s CEO informed investors about the presence of multiple avenues of breaking into the XR technology domain. Some of the ones he mentioned include social channels and cooperative gaming. According to Lau, the firm has ample technological prowess and the requisite infrastructure to develop solutions that adequately capitalise on the scope of the metaverse. In addition, the business has registered over twenty metaverse-centric trademarks for its numerous apps in China.

Futurum Research analyst Jared Klee commented that the efforts being made by Tencent in the metaverse space are not a result of mindless bandwagoning. He pointed out that the company is known to offer funds for early-stage projects and stays committed during development processes. In an interview for Tech Monitor, Klee expressed that Tencent might be making an investment into something significant and groundbreaking.

Tencent is the biggest video game developer on the planet. It currently boasts of many widely renowned game titles including PUBG and League of Legends (LOL). Aside from that, the firm also specialises in a multitude of offerings in sectors such as banking services, AI, and cloud computing. Based on Klee’s estimation, the metaverse efforts of Tencent might start with gaming before being focused on other forms of media or services. The company’s WeChat messenger service is already one of the most used and widely renowned options in the world today. With extended reality solutions, the company can make waves in the metaverse.

More development news is expected in the near future from Tencent.

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